Category: Books

As the name suggests, this is where you’ll find everything I’ve written about books, publishing, authors, book stores and more. I’ve had the pleasure of talking to some renowned novelists and thinkers including Joe Hill, Jared Diamond, David Brin, Naomi Wolf, Kim Stanley Robinson and Matthew Reilly.

But it’s also been a way of exploring some big ideas facing technology, society and the economy talked about in some groundbreaking written works, whether it’s the lack of contact from interstellar civilisations, the role of pornography not just in technology but human communication overall or how graphic design is changing in the web age.

I’ve also turned the spotlight back on the book industry itself, looking at everything from the challenge of keeping boys interested in reading to the latest innovations in distribution to fiction sales’ dirty little secret about the genre that keeps it afloat.

Perfect Motion

More than just letting us stand on hind legs and move around the environment, the book draws on various neuroscientific principles to argue that walking is inextricably linked to several of aspects of the human condition that have made us who we are, like creativity. … Continue readingPerfect Motion

Never Enough

Disarmingly open about her own history of addiction, Never Enough is full of stories about Grisel’s decade or addiction, risky behaviour and wasted years. Tales of her first drink at 13, or feeling nothing at a beloved grandfather’s funeral because she was hopped up on Quaaludes are heart-wrenching. … Continue readingNever Enough

Jared Diamond Writes About Upheaval, But is ‘Cautiously Optimistic’

I’ve gotten huge amounts of support from academics. There’s a small fringe of academics who dislike things I write and who are personally jealous that someone whose training was in gall-bladder physiology comes and writes about history in Australia. But if you’re going to be an author writing for the public you’ve got to develop a thick skin. … Continue readingJared Diamond Writes About Upheaval, But is ‘Cautiously Optimistic’

Ain’t No Respect

The Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood has been the target of many brickbats in her time thanks to never fully accepting the term ‘science fiction’ about her work. Some would say the criticism is deserved – particularly after the author herself told the BBC science fiction was about ‘talking squids in outer space’. … Continue readingAin’t No Respect

The Breakthrough

You might take any research related to cancer that uses superlatives (Breakthrough! Revolution!) with a huge pinch of salt. We’ve seen evening news soundbites cherry picking very inexact research for maximum impact for decades, all while just as many friends, colleagues and family members die of cancer as ever. … Continue readingThe Breakthrough